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Nintendo 3DS update permanently blocks flash cart using pirates

No more pirated games on the Nintendo 3DS, at least for awhile, thanks to the latest firmware update for the handheld.

Before the pricing fiasco that forced Nintendo to sell its Nintendo 3DS portable console at a loss for almost a year, the Nintendo DS successor was positioned to be a massive hit for the company’s investors. It wasn’t just that Nintendo expected consumers to buy the console in droves. Nintendo believed that the 3DS would be protected from the rampant piracy that crippled Nintendo DS software sales and chased third party publishers away from the system. The Nintendo 3DS would end the reign of game pirate terror caused by R4 flash carts.

That didn’t work out for Nintendo. Flash carts for the Nintendo 3DS were available within weeks of the console’s release in 2011, and while piracy hasn’t been as much of a problem as it was on DS, it’s still affected the console. According to flash cart maker SuperCard though, the latest firmware update for the 3DS will block all flash carts from working on the system permanently.

Nintendo 3DS update version 4.4.0-10U reportedly introduces anti-piracy measures that prevent existing flash cart users from using new software on the carts to work around Nintendo security. SuperCard indicates that if a flash cart is going to work on the 3DS from here on out, it will have to be entirely new type hardware.

Nintendo’s anti-piracy measures on the 3DS have been extreme to date. When updating the system’s firmware in the past, Nintendo could “brick” the system if it detected unsigned applications, making the device little more than a pretty piece of plastic.

“In developing the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, we recognized that security is an extremely important factor for the sake of our business and in making sure that our consumers feel that playing our product is safe,” said president Satoru Iwata during an investor Q&A in July, “While some acts of piracy are still possible in its DS-compatibility mode, as we had to ensure that the Nintendo DS software could still be played on the Nintendo 3DS, the Nintendo 3DS itself still maintains a robust security system, even after this much time has passed since its launch.”

With this new update, even old DS flash carts are locked out.

Source: Tiny Cartridge